The deceit that underlies Unite Here’s interloping antics in West Hollywood municipal governance has reached a new low point. If one is to subscribe to Unite Here’s amateurish negative campaigning, one must believe that ethics in government is considered a right-wing value.
Unite Here’s latest campaign mailer suggests that Lauren Meister and John Duran “wrote for a right wing (sic) opinion blog”. Lauren Meister’s well-researched and academically substantiated piece in WEHOville should be required reading for those who seek to serve at any level. That Meister’s writings are reduced to campaign smear is more evidence that Unite Here is squandering its hardworking members’ dues in pursuit of an agenda that has little to do with the purpose of this union.
The hit piece also fails to mention that Unite Here’s own Danielle Wilson has also contributed her own opinion pieces to this so-called “right wing (sic) blog” and has engaged in the comments section on numerous occasions. Are Unite Here’s slimy mailings lumping Wilson into the category of right-wing writers on WEHOville?
The Unite Here mailing suggests that Meister and Duran are “candidates of big business” because they are endorsed by WeHo PAC, the political arm of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. This is an insult to the many local mom and pop businesses that are the core of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Small business is the backbone of the West Hollywood business community. Some on the current council, including, primarily, John Erickson, have declared open war on the West Hollywood small business community. Do we really want to elect more people to council who will continue the hostilities toward those who employ our residents and provide much-needed services?
The piece goes on to say that “Meister is joining the Log Cabin Republican Forum” a statement that is a complete anachronistic lie.
Unite Here, and others, continue to engage in the Lindsey Horvath style of calling people names when they disagree with or question their policies and politics. Just as Lindsey called anyone who dared disagree with her appointee to the Public Safety Commission a racist, sexist, and, ahm, otherist, these folks resort to bald-faced lies that anyone not in ideological purity with their often toxic extreme views are simply “right wingers”. I suggest that these outside forces get to know the people who live here and call West Hollywood home. They prance into town and insult every one of us who is a long-time resident and have for years supported the very culture and policies that make West Hollywood a great place to live. Theirs is a divisiveness that continues to find a home in some on council, including Councilmembers Sepi Shye and John Erickson. Do we need more toxic divisiveness, or is there still room for common ground and candidates who will represent us all?
WEHOville has been the most substantive source of campaign information this election cycle due in part to the dearth of debates and other good information and real-time candidate interaction. WEHOville has invited all candidates to an equal footing in space and to answer questions; many have simply refused to engage the real residents of West Hollywood, relying instead on intellectually lazy campaign mailers that say nothing of substance, and even less of truth. In its mailers, Unite Here has stretched to define one candidate’s union bona fides by referencing that he once worked in a hotel kitchen. That same candidate’s commitment to renters is merely a statement that he is “a strong supporter of rent control”. These are the conclusory statements that pollute our mailboxes, particularly toward the end of a campaign season when substance means almost nothing.
I am a strong supporter of unions and the union movement. Unite Here is a cancer on the union movement, and a poison in West Hollywood civic affairs. Their endorsement of the Byers/Wright/Oliver slate and its attendant campaign of lies, misinformation, distortion and negativity casts a dark pall over the process and must be rejected for the good of our city.